CFIB-Quebec welcomes amendments to province’s economic recovery law

Small/medium businesses will be protected from evictions and property seizures

The Quebec branch of the Canadian Federation for Independent Business says it is pleased with amendments the Legault government has decided to make to Bill 61, the law enshrining the re-launch of the post-COVID-19 economy, since the changes reflect suggestions the CFIB had made.

Amendments welcomed

Among the amendments, the Quebec CFIB said in a statement issued last week, were suggestions apparently taken up by the government with potential impact on small and medium enterprises facing eviction from leased premises, and regulations affecting liquor license owners making things a little easier for them during the COVID-19 recovery period.

“Numerous SMEs, especially affected by the crisis, weren’t seeing their preoccupations being taken into consideration by the proposed law that was tabled,” François Vincent, vice-president for Quebec of the CFIB, said last week.

No commercial evictions

“But today, things changed,” he said a day later. “They are pleased to see that the amendments will make it possible to protect those who are in difficulty against evictions or seizure of property on leased premises, and they will also offer several restauranteurs new avenues to explore. In the name of these SMEs, I thank the government for improving on its proposed law.”

According to the Quebec CFIB, the following measures will now be included:

Protection of commercial lease-holders against all forms of eviction or seizure of property on rented or leased premises (Article 35.1); Loosening of rules for liquor permit holders, allowing them to provide up to one-third of their business in the form of deliveries (Article 38.1); Permission to differentiate prices for alcoholic beverages sold for consumption on premises from those sold for take-out (Article 38.2).

A concerted effort

These CFIB suggestions were also included: A reduction in the cost of a seasonal alcohol permit in proportion to the prorate number of days it isn’t used (Article 40.5); Permission to continue selling alcohol or bar service to certain clients even when food service is over (Articles 40.3 and 40.4); Loosening of rules surrounding promotion and publicity for alcoholic beverages (Article 40.5).

“To get through this crisis which is without precedent, the cooperation of all players as well as action by government are necessary,” François Vincent added. “Today, we are taking another step forward to protect businesses in all the municipalities of Quebec. Now it’s the turn of parliamentarians to make good these measures by adopting this draft law before the end of the session.”